Three Things Thursday
Every Thursday we share with you three things that have been discussed on our Savvy Shay Business Club surgery that we think will be very useful for your small business.
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg – if you're interested to know more and to ask your own questions to top business lawyer Suzanne Dibble and learn from the experience of lots of other small business owners, then go to https://suzannedibble.com/savvyshay/ to find out more and to join our thriving membership.
- Can I trademark my logo that I created using Canva?
If you want to trademark your logo, it is important that you own the copyright in that logo.
Normally, I would recommend that you obtain a Letter of Assignment from the designer, unless the previous terms of service have been clear enough about an assignment of the copyright in the logo to you.
However, in the case of Canva, they will not sign a Letter of Assignment, not least because they have millions of users.
This is because you are only licensed to use Canva’s stock content e.g. photos and graphics on a non-exclusive basis.
Let's see what Canva has to say about the matter…
“If you’d like to create logos on Canva that you can register as a trademark, there are two ways you can go with:
- i) Design an original logo from scratch in Canva
In creating a unique logo in Canva from scratch, you can use basic lines and shapes from our Free library. You can also use all of our fonts.
However, you can’t use stock content (e.g. photos and graphics) as we only give you a non-exclusive licence to this. Other Canva users are free to use the same content which means that using stock content for your logos isn’t suitable for use in a trademark. Elements in a logo need to be exclusive to you.
- ii) Upload your original logo to Canva
You can upload your own logo design to Canva. This might be a logo you designed yourself or one you commissioned a graphic designer to create for you.
After uploading your logo, you can use Canva to create branded collateral for your business, like social media content, business cards, flyers, and so much more.”
You can view what they have to say at https://www.canva.com/en_gb/help/trademarks-logo/
Your decision is then whether to keep your logo in its current form and to accept that you won’t be able to trademark it or you could hire a designer to create a bespoke design for you, based on the Canva image and ensure that you have an assignment in the services agreement.
- Can a company charge £25 each month plus interest for late payment? The annual invoice, for a maintenance agreement, was originally £62.46.
Even if a contract was entered into which specified these terms, you could challenge this rate of interest on the basis of it being an unreasonable term under the Unfair Contracts Terms Act 1977.
A requirement to pay unreasonable interest on an overdue payment is likely to be regarded as an unfair penalty.
If an interest clause is held to be a penalty, it is unenforceable, However, the supplier could still charge statutory interest for b2b contracts at a simple rate of 8% above the Bank of England's official Bank Rate.
I would write to the supplier saying that the interest rate is unreasonable under the Unfair Contracts Terms Act 1977, is likely to be a penalty and that on this basis, you won’t be paying the interest at this rate.
Note that they could require you to pay interest at 8% above the base rate.
In the following cases, the issue of whether an interest rate was too high or not was ruled on as shown below:
- How can I protect images of my original artwork that I post on social media channels. I’m happy for people to share my work as long as they link back to me and credit me as the artist.
The first thing to note is that as the creator of an original work, you are the owner of the copyright and that even without a copyright notice on your original work, if people share it or otherwise use it, this is an infringement of your copyright, for which you could take action.
However, a big part of social media is in people sharing your work so that more people get to know about you. The best way to ensure that you are credited is to include your Instagram account or Twitter account name (ideally they would be the same) and a copyright notice onto the actual image itself. The copyright notice would be © followed by your name and the date in which the copyright was created. This can be in fairly small font at the bottom of the image so as not to detract from the image.
The other thing that I would do is to add to your bio a statement to the following effect “I own the copyright in the artwork shown on this account. You may only share an image from this account if you credit me as the artist and link to [insert the link you want people to go to]. We take infringement of our copyright seriously and will take full legal action to protect it.”
© Suzanne Dibble 2013-2022
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. We disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.